Crime & Public Safety

Trooper fired shot while pulling over Beaufort County man for traffic violation

Police car lights in night time, crime scene, night patrolling the city. Abstract blurry image. Photo by Getty Images This is a stock image downloaded from Getty Images. It is a Royalty Free image.
Police car lights in night time, crime scene, night patrolling the city. Abstract blurry image. Photo by Getty Images This is a stock image downloaded from Getty Images. It is a Royalty Free image. Getty Images/iStockphoto

A South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper has been placed on administrative duty after he fired his weapon while attempting to pull over a Beaufort County man for disregarding a traffic signal Tuesday evening.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division’s investigation of the incident shut down several lanes of Highway 21 between Roseida Road and the Marine Corps Air Station after 10 p.m. Tuesday, said Maj. Bob Bromage of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

Around 8:30 p.m., a trooper turned on his lights after seeing a driver disregard a traffic signal on Highway 21, according to the S.C. Highway Patrol.

“The vehicle failed to stop and the trooper began a pursuit of the fleeing vehicle,” the SCHP news release said.

The driver lost control during the pursuit, which stopped his vehicle.

“The trooper approached the vehicle and during that time, he discharged his department-issued firearm,” the release said.

The driver then drove into Colleton County and eventually crashed after troopers used maneuvers to disable the vehicle, the release says.

No one was injured, the release says.

The suspect was arrested and charged with disregarding a traffic control device, failing to stop for a blue light, driving under suspension and operating an uninsured, expired vehicle license.

SLED is investigating the discharge of the trooper’s firearm, and Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the crash.

The chase is the 36th officer-involved shooting in the state in 2019. It is the second involving the S.C. Highway Patrol.

A man was fatally shot in Sun City by a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputy on July 26. An internal investigation found no wrongdoing, according to Sheriff P.J. Tanner.

SLED has not released results of an independent investigation into the Sun City shooting.

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